Don Levy

Don Levy: Herostratus

“The world of Herostratus is cold, stark metallic, expressed with an imagery as succinct and evocative as anything in Antonioni at his best.”
Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles restoration premiere
Jack H. Skirball Series

UK, 1967, 142 min., hdcam
Though Australian-born Don Levy taught and inspired generations of filmmakers and artists at CalArts in the 1970s and ’80s, his own underground masterpiece Herostratus remained largely out of public view. Now, more than 40 years after the psychedelic shock Levy delivered to a British film industry steeped in kitchensink realism, Herostratus is screening once more, thanks to a new restoration by the British Film Institute. In this coruscating work, Michael Gothard astonishes as the eponymous young poet who hires a pr firm to turn his planned suicide into a media spectacle. Bursting with psychological and aesthetic urgency, Herostratus proved as prescient about the failure of the ’60s counterculture as it was inspirational for the likes of Stanley Kubrick and Nicolas Roeg. “[S]een by virtually every filmmaker then working in the British film industry…. Herostratus must now certainly rank among the most influential of unknown films,” according to Amnon Buchbinder.

Curated by Beth Block with Steve Anker and Bérénice Reynaud. Special thanks to Amnon Buchbinder.

Advanced Curators' Notes

Funded in part with generous support from Wendy Keys and Donald Pels.

Associated Images: 

MON 3/1
8:30 pm

G - General Audience

M - REDCAT Members

ST - Students

CA - CalArts Students/Faculty/Staff